Impact of Cloth Colour And Material On Body And Mind

By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.
Clothing material and color is believed to be having direct effect over the mental attitudes as well as bodily health; both in diseased as well as healthy individuals. So if one wears the relative color and material cloths undoubtedly we may get the good benefits out of them. 

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The texts like Abhidhana chintamani, Sushruta samhita, Charajka samhita, Yogaratnakara, Bhojana kutoohala, Vaidyasara sangraha etc quote these references and they are summarized and presented here below.

Classical reference

White, colored clothes

White colour clothing
It is favorable to majja (marrow) and blood tissue.
It enriches body strength too. But, in few individuals it may increase Kapha dosha. It is pittahara.
Relieves – fatigue, thirst, burning sensation etc.

It promotes ojus, complexion, vigor, valor as well as sexual virility.
In addition, white colored cotton clothes pacify thirst associated health issues and is good in emaciating disorders.
It gives mental pleasure and pacifies Vata-Pitta problems.

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Red colored clothing
Manjishtha colored (red) clothing will cause burning sensation, induce warmth, pacifies vata and kapha doshas. But those clothes which are thin and soft balance all three Dosha and are suitable for almost all people. Also, such clothes increase taste in the food (stimulants) and creates pleasure to have the food.
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Blue colour – soothing, cooling, calming, peaceful
Black colour – increases focus, shows strength, power, sophistication
Brown Color – colour of the earth. Firm, solid, stable mind and body
Silver color – Attention seeking, adventurous
Yellow – happy, cheerful, positive
Green – calming, generous, helpful

Clothing varieties

Abhidhana chintamani (Verse 668-670) discusses 4 varieties of clothes namely-
1. Kshouma vastra  – Linen clothes prepared by the stem or fibers of the stems of trees and plants
2. Karpasa vastra  – Cotton cloth derived from the fruits of trees like cotton
3. Kousheya vastra – Silk cloth obtained from worm like silk clothes.
4. Rankava vastra – Leather and woolen clothes – prepared out of body hairs of animals like woolen blanket etc.

The qualities are appreciated as below by the commentators-
1. Linen clothes – Balance Vata and Kapha Doshas, relieve cold, good in winter; patients suffering from wounds and ulcers, skin eruption, itching etc are advised to wear this kind of cloth.
It can increase body heat.

2. Cotton clothes – Pitta vata balancing, rejuvenating, strength improving, pleasure enhancing, mind soothing etc. It is good in hemorrhagic conditions, bleeding disorders, neuritis, excess sweating, burning of the body, headache etc.
Cotton clothing is more suited for Pitta body type people who sweat a lot. It keeps the body cool by absorbing the sweat.

3. Silk clothes – Balance Vata and Pitta Dosha, light, unctuous, good for numbness, stiffness, painful conditions, muscular spasm or cramps etc.

4. Woolen clothes – Balance Kapha and Vata Dosha, increase Pitta, good for body ache, heaviness, numbness, joint stiffness, indigestion, fever, cold, lethargy etc.
Ideal for winter and for people who feel cold all the time.
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There is a saying in Sanskrit-“Pratyaksham hi alpam, Analpam apratyaksham”. It means the directly perceived factors are less and unseen or inexperienced facts are innumerable. So, finding explanation or building rationality for each observation and experience will be a difficult task. There is a necessity to accept and adopt the words of experience of our ancient seers and experts.

Research

Clothing can actually affect your work (1)

Proper adoption of particular clothing and color combinations may be helpful to enrich the health status. No wonder…. If textiles label Vata balancing, Pitta calming, Kapha Vata Hara etc in their cloth covers…. !
Contact Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD

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